In developing the essay responses, reference the readings (Jesus -Marcus Borg) and the biblical texts parenthetically (Mark 2:4-8)–do NOT include lengthy quotations in your responses. Students need to develop an essay response of approximately five pages for each of the following questions:
1) How would Paul critique the present-day Church? What would it mean if the Apostle Paul and his message became the model for ministry today–at the institutional level and at the local level? Ground your argument solidly in the readings and the biblical texts, not just whimsical speculation. Describe a Pauline Church for the 21st-century. (ONLY!)
2) Describe the development of the synoptic tradition by describing Mark’s context and purpose and then showing how Matthew and Luke revise the Markan text–according to their own contexts and purposes. What are the key factors in the first century that shape this development. Show, by reference to the texts, not just the Ludwig essays, how “gospels update.”
3) What do you make of the Gospel According to John? Not just “oh, I love it; it’s my favorite,” but the substance of the narrative itself. How does John present Jesus (and why?), and how does he understand discipleship? Again, reference the text itself–and discuss its relevance for ministry today.
Shape a creative title for each essay–and be sure that it reflects your central focus. Be sure to organize your essay around your focal point.
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